UPDATE: Some second game results are already in, with the Bulls prevailing over the Bucks, 91-82; The Warriors clipped the Pelicans? wings, 97-87; The Celtics go down fighting against the Cavaliers, 91-99; and the Wizards work some magic over the Raptors, 117-106.
The NBA season is over, and where the regular games run out, that?s when the post-season starts to take shape.
The dust has settled in the first games, with some results going as expected and just a few surprising. It?s in the way the opponents are drawn that the results are decided, and this report from Bleacher Report helps us in making playoff predictions and speculations.
Some further analyses are provided by this New York Times article, and in this report, a second-round playoff begins to take shape. Let?s take a look at what route the Playoffs will be taking shape, and how these opponents will fare against each other:
Face-offs in the Playoffs
In the East
- Hawks vs. Nets.
- Cavs vs. Celtics.
- Bulls vs. Bucks.
- Raptors vs. Wizards.
People have always been pointing out how weak the East is, but it is interesting to note that in the past few months, some of these teams have played impressively. The Nets, the Celtics, and the Bucks made the Playoffs despite all the odds, although some of these teams?most notably the Celtics?are projected to be booted out automatically, by virtue of the quality of their opponents?the Hawks, the Cavs, and the Bulls.
In the West
- Warriors vs. Pelicans
- Rockets vs. Mavericks
- Clippers vs. Spurs
- Grizzlies vs. Blazers
The West has an even more unsure picture of the Playoffs. Most of these teams, if they played in the East, would? have given no room for the others to sneak in. The Warriors are expected to cruise through to the second round, as well as some others. But the quality of opponents may make that difficult. An especially interesting match-up, according to the Bleacher Report article, are the Spurs against the Clippers.
If the Playoffs ended today?
If the Playoffs ended in the second game of the first round, a Playoff picture develops with the Bulls, Warriors, Wizards and Cavaliers already in. That?s in line with the NY Times, and as other teams have yet to play, it?s safe to say that the predictions could go in the way of coming true.
Aside from those mentioned, the article picks the Hawks, Grizzlies, Clippers, and Rockets to prevail over their Playoff opponents. It?s especially hard to be certain in the talented West, as any of the teams currently facing off fancied opponents could pull an upset.
Who Emerges the Victor?
What?s interesting in these match-ups is that in the finals, the victor of the 2015 NBA season could potentially be someone who used to watch the Finals from the outside. Will the Cavaliers finally get an NBA championship? Will the trophy make a return to familiar grounds? Only the Playoffs will tell.
Photo Credits: NBA